Let’s start with some good news…

And by “good,” I unfortunately mean “lousy.” CNN Money is reporting that housing prices are still plummeting at a record rate. “The S&P Case-Shiller Home Price national index recorded a 16.6% decline in the third quarter compared with the same period a year ago,” CNN Money reported today. “That eclipsed the previous record of 15.1% set during the second quarter.” This means even more bad, bad times for the Mainland real estate and construction market, though it’s not clear that Hawaii will suffer too–at least, not yet. Though local housing prices have fallen–some Honolulu sellers are actually dropping $100,000 off their asking prices–median prices in Hawaii’s capitol city are apparently still the third highest in the nation.

Of course, the really scary thing about the collapse of the domestic housing market is the way it exemplifies the Bush Administration’s utterly misanthropic approach to domestic policy (hell, all government policy). In fact, it was just four years ago that President George W. Bush told us the centerpiece of his second term of office was a plan to make it easier for people to buy their own homes. “We will… build an ownership society,” Bush said in his 2005 Inaugural Address. “By making every citizen an agent of his or her own destiny, we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear, and make our society more prosperous and just and equal.”
Is it really a surprise that consumer confidence seemed to rise following the November elections?
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